A sexy, new standalone second chance romance is out this week from Meghan Quinn, and my friend Vilma Iris and I have a never-seen-before excerpt for you.
Her eyes meet mine, and there is a softness to them now, a deep understanding. “That night, you said something that stuck with me. You said I deserved someone with a loving family.” I squeeze my eyes tight. Fuck, why did I have to get blackout drunk? “You also said no one wanted you besides the woman who didn’t deserve you.” She tilts her head to the side. “You were talking about your mom, weren’t you?”
Embarrassed, I nod. “Yes.” I place my tea on the coffee table and turn to her. “I had a shitty childhood, Amelia. My mom acted like she loved me, like I was the only thing in her life she cared about, but she really didn’t.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because, if she truly cared about me, she would have given me the same opportunity to thrive like my brothers. There were nights I went to bed without food, because she forgot to go grocery shopping. I’d wanted to play on the football team, but I couldn’t because my mom wasn’t reliable enough to get me to practice. There were mornings I wished I didn’t wake up to my mom hungover from God knows what on the couch, using my fucking homework as her cushion. And when I was the most bitter, the most angry about her not acting like a mom, she would boast about what a great person she was for selflessly giving my brothers a better life. All I could think about was what about me?” Why had I not deserved the better life? Why did she keep me if giving away my brothers gave her the most joy? Why? Me?
“Oh Aaron, I had no idea.”
“I know. I tried to hide that part of my life. It’s why you never spent too much time with my mom. Why we spent holidays at your house, because I couldn’t bear to have you exposed to that side of me.” It was a truth I’d wanted thrown away forever.
“You could have told me. I wouldn’t have looked at you any differently.”
“And I should have known that, but I was too damn ashamed.”
“There is no reason for you to be ashamed about something you have no control over. You should be proud.” She scoots closer and puts her hand on my leg. “You have come so far from when I first met you. Look around, Aaron. You own a beautiful house, you have your own construction company, and you have loyal friends. You’ve done so well.”
My eyes lift to hers. “But the one thing I really want doesn’t belong to me anymore because like a dumbass, I let her go.”
It’s on the tip of my tongue, the biggest confession.
You’re dating my biological brother.
You’re dating the one person I’ve envied the most. Who’s always had everything I’ve ever wanted, and now most importantly, that includes you.
But I can’t. I can’t fucking say it. I can’t risk telling her. What if she sees the difference between us? The same difference my mom sees? What if she realizes she lucked out and picked the right brother? I can’t stomach that. I can’t fathom knowing that, if Amelia had a choice, she would still choose Trey over me.
It would fucking destroy me.
So I keep my mouth shut. She doesn’t need to know because it won’t matter, not when I win her back.